Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Twitter
YouTube
Sheldrake Press Logo lockup
Authorized anthology of humorous verse by Harry Graham

Sixty-Five Rhymes Written

For the past two months we have been running a competition to find the best short poem in the style of a Ruthless Rhyme, a humorous verse form invented by Harry Graham. By the time the competition closed at midnight GMT on Sunday 4th March, we had received 65 rhymes from nine countries, including Australia, Germany, India, Nigeria, Romania, Spain, France, the UK and the US. The last entry came in at eight minutes to midnight.

NEW WILD ITALY

Wild Escape Competition

Sheldrake Press, publishers of the Wild Guides, are running a travel writing competition this month. Share one of your wild travel experiences with us for a chance to be published on our web-site and win a set of guides to Italy, Britain and Ireland.

Brooking griffen

Brooking Collection Finds Temporary Home

Charles Brooking’s major collection of architectural detail, referred to in our earlier news item, has been written up in The Financial Times, along with this griffin and other illustrations. The collection has now been moved to temporary storage, but is still under threat and needs a permanent home and financial assistance. To read the article in The Financial Times, click here. To find out more about the collection’s immediate needs, please visit their web-site.

Can You Write a Ruthless Rhyme?

Are you a budding writer or a keen poet? Would you like to see your work published on-line? We are running a competition to find the best short poem in the style of a Ruthless Rhyme, a humorous verse form invented by Harry Graham.

brooking logo 2

Help for the Brooking Collection

Since the age of two, Charles Brooking has been collecting architectural detail. He has amassed 250,000 items of salvage, which have just been moved into temporary storage following the withdrawal of support from the University of Greenwich. The collection urgently needs a new home and funding to preserve it for the future. Can you help? For more on this unique archive, click here.

Gertrude Jekyll House

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)

On this day in 1843, the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll was born in London. She created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America, and is particularly noted for her collaboration with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.  Her design style employed cottage-garden motifs to make her meticulous arrangements of plants appear effortless and uncontrived. Notable examples of her work are Vann Hambledon in Godalming, Surrey, Glebe House in Connecticut, USA, and Les Bois de Moutiers, France.

KGBF cover

Seven Billionth Human Born

Congratulations to all those special seven-billionth babies out there! To mark the occasion, we are giving our readers a 45% discount on The Kate Greenaway Baby Book, a baby journal for the first five years, and The Kate Greenaway First Year Baby Book. Simply write to us at to get a copy.

Free Downloads

The following are now available as downloads:

Glossary of Architectural Terms
The numerous terms used in The Victorian House Book are defined, with illustrations.
Download

Energy Conservation
Denis Meehan, Director of Ecological Heating Ltd, explains how to reduce heat loss in a Victorian house while retaining the architectural integrity of the building.
Download

Victorian House Suppliers
The editors of The Victorian House Book have compiled this list of more than 60 suppliers of goods and services appropriate to a house of this period, with profiles and pictures.
Download

When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat
In this excerpt are four sample poems from When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat, an anthology of the humorous verse of Harry Graham, inventor of Ruthless Rhymes. Three are Ruthless Rhymes, Including Grandmama, the baby in the Frigidaire and poor Billy, and you also have the much longer epic of The Bath, all with illustrations.
Download

Twelve New Ruthless Rhymes
These humorous verses were written for the Ruthless Rhyme competition in January and February 2012 and placed on the short list by the panel of judges named below. Included are the winning poem by Angela Perkins and the two runners-up by Rosemary McDougall and Elizabeth Francis. The other rhymes were written by Delia Chilom, Yasir Hayat, Diane Jackman, Katherine Lavender, Gwen de Mel and Elizabeth Sarah Pearl.
Download

Ruthless Rhyme Competition Judges
The ten judges of the Ruthless Rhyme competition included past and present staff of Sheldrake Press, chaired by Simon Rigge, and four external moderators including the poet Charles Boyle, the historian Fergus Fleming, the publisher David Jefferis and the editor Mike Brown.
Download

Ruthless Rhyme Competition – Mentioned for Creativity
Many of the poems submitted in the competition were not strictly Ruthless Rhymes, as defined in the competition rules, but were thought worthy of mention for their intrinsic quality as verse or the fact that they were accompanied by rather good line drawings.
Download

Ruthless Rhyme Competition – Mentioned for Ridiculousness
Among the poems submitted in the competition, but adjudged not ruthless, were some which took the biscuit for their oddity or absurdity.
Download

Free Samples
We will shortly make available extensive excerpts from all our books in order to give you a better idea of their content. Initially, we will be offering samples from:

Wild Italy
Wild Britain
The Victorian House Book

Plans for London Bridge Station

Network Rail have unveiled their plans for the redevelopment of London Bridge station. The aim of the new design, by the architectural firm Grimshaw, is to make it easier for passengers to enter and exit, but the scheme has drawn controversy due to the proposed demolition of the buildings at 64-84 Tooley Street.

The former South Eastern Railway Offices at 64-84 Tooley Street were built between 1897 and 1900 by the architects Charles Barry and Son. Charles Barry Sr created the Gothic extravaganza of the Houses of Parliament. This is the only surviving commercial building by his son, and it is an important part of the London Bridge conservation area. Do we really want to swap this for Network Rail’s new entrance to London Bridge station (see our Blog)?

The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition

Today is the 160th anniversary of the closing of the Great Exhibition. In the five months since it opened, over six million people had visited and viewed the 100,000 objects on display, including exhibits from France, America, Canada, India and Russia. To the surprise of many, the exhibition made a profit of £186,000, most of which was used to create the South Kensington museums. The influence of the Great Exhibition on interior design is examined in The Victorian House Book.

Membership Area

We publish books not just because they contain a good idea, but often because they advance a cause: for example, better home improvement, environmental conservation or literary revival. To further these aims, we are happy to provide you with additional resources in the form of free downloads, which you can obtain by registering below. The following are now available:

Glossary of Architectural Terms
The numerous terms used in The Victorian House Book are defined, with illustrations. To download this glossary, please register below.

Energy Conservation
Denis Meehan, Director of Ecological Heating Ltd, explains how to reduce heat loss in a Victorian house while retaining the architectural integrity of the building.To download this report, please register below.

Victorian House Suppliers
The editors of The Victorian House Book have compiled this list of more than 60 suppliers of goods and services appropriate to a house of this period, with profiles and pictures.To download this resource, please register below.

When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat
In this excerpt are four sample poems from When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat, an anthology of the humorous verse of Harry Graham, inventor of Ruthless Rhymes. Three are Ruthless Rhymes, including Grandmama, the baby in the Frigidaire and poor Billy, and you also have the much longer epic of The Bath, all with illustrations. To download this sample, please register below.

Twelve New Ruthless Rhymes
These humorous verses were written for the Ruthless Rhyme competition in January and February 2012 and placed on the short list by the panel of judges named below. Included are the winning poem by Angela Perkins and the two runners-up by Rosemary McDougall and Elizabeth Francis. The other rhymes were written by Delia Chilom, Yasir Hayat, Diane Jackman, Katherine Lavender, Gwen de Mel and Elizabeth Sarah Pearl. To download the short list, please register below.

Ruthless Rhyme Competition Judges
The ten judges of the Ruthless Rhyme competition included past and present staff of Sheldrake Press, chaired by Simon Rigge, and four external moderators including the poet Charles Boyle, the historian Fergus Fleming, the publisher David Jefferis and the editor Mike Brown. To find out more, please register below.

Ruthless Rhyme Competition – Mentioned for Creativity
Many of the poems submitted in the competition were not strictly Ruthless Rhymes, as defined in the competition rules, but were thought worthy of mention for their intrinsic quality as verse or the fact that they were accompanied by rather good line drawings. To read them, please register below.

Ruthless Rhyme Competition – Mentioned for Ridiculousness
Among the poems submitted in the competition, but adjudged not ruthless, were some which took the biscuit for their oddity or absurdity. To read them, please register below.

Free Samples
We will shortly make available extensive excerpts from all our books in order to give you a better idea of their content. Initially, we will be offering samples from:

Wild Italy
Wild Britain
The Victorian House Book

Register now for a free download
Already a member?  Sign in
Gothic Revival lamp in the Palace of Westminster

Augustus Pugin (1812-1852)

On this day in 1852, the architect Augustus Pugin died at his home in Ramsgate, Kent. His most famous project was his work with Sir Charles Barry on the Palace of Westminster after the old building had been destroyed by fire in 1834. Pugin was responsible for the design of the interior and some of the exterior details. His contribution to architecture and interior design is covered extensively in The Victorian House Book, from which this detail in the Palace of Westminster is taken.

More Articles…
Architectural Propriety · Edward Burne-Jones · Joseph Paxton · Great Exhibition · St Pancras Hotel
Stained glass design by Edward Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

The Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones was born 178 years ago today. Inspired by the artists of the Italian Renaissance, his paintings depict graceful figures in meticulously detailed medieval settings and are often on mythological or religious subjects. His interest in medieval art can also be seen in the stained glass and tapestry designs he produced for Morris & Co. This example is taken from The Victorian House Book by Robin Guild.
Three Buildings in Moneglia

Architectural Mini-Quiz

Here are three buildings in the seaside town of Moneglia in Liguria, northern Italy. Which do you prefer: (from left) A, B or C? We will explain the purpose of the quiz as soon as we have the results at the end of this week. Please express your preference by clicking here.
A History of Artificial Stone Published by Haddonstone Ltd

History of Artificial Stone

The invention of Coade stone in 1769 allowed architects to add more ornamentation to buildings than had previously been possible. Coade stone mimicked natural stone but was cheaper and longer lasting. The history of artificial stone, including Coade stone, is chronicled in a book by Simon Scott, director of Haddonstone Ltd. His company, just added to our Victorian House Decoration page, produces its own variety of artificial stone.

Ceiling rose by Simply Mouldings

Simply Mouldings

In the 19th century, plasterwork such as cornices and dado rails played both a decorative and practical role. Dado rails, for example, prevented walls from being knocked by furniture, but also added visual interest because contrasting colours could be used above and below. If you wish to add or replace decorative plasterwork in your house, Simply Mouldings can make and install many features, including dado rails and ceiling roses. Their contact details are now available on our Victorian House Decoration page.

The Front Entrance of the Crystal Palace

Sir Joseph Paxton (1801-1865)

Today is the 210th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joseph Paxton, who designed the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The building was modelled on a conservatory he had created at Chatsworth to house the giant Victoria amazonica water lily. The plant’s vein structure is said to have been the inspiration for his design. There is a chapter on garden design, including conservatories, in The Victorian House Book. Paxton’s railway work is covered in The Railway Heritage of Britain.

GBS Joinery Doors

Bespoke Front Doors

‘However charming the gate or imposing the porch, it is the entrance door which captures the eye of the visitor as he waits to be admitted’ (Robin Guild, The Victorian House Book). Impress your visitors with a replica Georgian or Victorian timber door made by GBS Joinery, whose details are now available on our Links page under the Victorian House Decoration section. They offer a bespoke service, making and fitting doors and windows for residential and commercial properties.

St Pancras Grand Brasserie

Top Table at St Pancras

The great days of railway luxury are returning. Today Top Table have a special offer on the St Pancras Grand, ‘a stylish, romantic destination restaurant’. When was the last time a railway dining room was connected with romance? Brief Encounter? Early next year, the restored King’s Cross station will be unveiled, offering more 19th-century splendour. For a snapshot of the work in progress, see our Blog.

Home Fires

The Victorians placed great importance on the fireplace as ‘the cornerstone of domestic comfort’ (Robin Guild, The Victorian House Book). If you would like to bring some authentic Victorian character into your home, Nostalgia UK Ltd supplies antique fireplaces in wood, stone, slate, cast iron and marble. We have just given them a link on our Links page under the category of ‘Victorian House Decoration’. They have a stock of more than 2,500 fireplaces, including classical, Gothic, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau designs. Visitors to their web-site can take a virtual tour of their showrooms and warehouses.

Well-designed interior of Browsers Bookshop, Woodbridge

Browsers Bookshop and Café

The Victorian House Book is now available at the Browsers Bookshop and Café, in the picturesque town of Woodbridge in Suffolk. This is an environment where visitors can browse at their leisure, with tea, coffee and cakes available if the mood takes them. Recipes for all the cakes can be found in the cookery books on the shelves. There is a children’s branch of Browsers further down the road.

Scott of St Pancras

Grand staircase of St Pancras Hotel

Today is the bicentenary of the birth of Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect of the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras, re-opened this year and featured today as a Google Doodle.

Sir George Gilbert Scott is perhaps best known as the architect of the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens and the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras station. The hotel re-opened on 5th May 2011, with many of its original features restored. This is an achievement we could only dream of when we featured the hotel in The Railway Heritage of Britain in 1983. If anyone is still unconvinced of Scott’s standing as an architect, may we suggest a walk up his grand staircase at St Pancras. There is more on this subject in our Blog, and you can see an album of 21 photographs on our Facebook page.

Curved staircase

E. A. Higginson, Staircase Makers

When so many people are doing loft conversions or digging out their basements, there is a frequent need for new flights of stairs. To ensure a seamless connection between old and new, you need to be able to copy your existing staircase accurately. This is just the sort of job that E. A. Higginson can do. Their contact details are now available on our Victorian House Decoration page.

Stained-glass frog and stars.

Star-Gazing Frog

In Japan, frogs were thought to bring good fortune, allowing money to return to a person (the Japanese word for ‘frog’ is the same as ‘to return’). This little frog certainly looks as if he might have special powers, as he gazes up at the starry sky. This is our favourite design by The London Stained Glass Company. You can see more designs by visiting their web-site, which can be reached from Victorian House Decoration in Links.

Bespoke stained glass by Judi Stark

London Stained Glass

There can be no denying the importance the Victorians placed on first impressions, and with grandeur in mind they turned the front entrances of their houses into showcases of architectural detail and decorative art, in which stained glass was ever-present. If yours is missing, and you want to commission a new design, have a look at Judi Stark’s portfolio, now available on our Victorian House Decoration page.
Curtains and upholstery by Mr Jones of Muswell Hill, North London

Mr Jones of North London

We have just added a link to Mr Jones of Muswell Hill, makers of curtains, blinds and traditional upholstery. After more than 25 years, they have built up an in-depth knowledge of their subject and amassed a stock of designer fabrics and wallpapers which they claim is the largest in North London. Do a one-stop shop with them, they say, and you will save yourself many frustrating hours of traipsing around.

Mrs_Gorm

Stung to Death by Savage Bees

For your entertainment, we have just posted sample couplets by Harry Graham in our Preview of When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat. Whether your subject is dining, dancing, motoring, bathing or bee-keeping, we believe you will find something here to trigger your schadenfreude. Try this:

When Mrs Gorm (Aunt Eloise)
Was stung to death by savage bees,
Her husband (Prebendary Gorm)
Put on his veil, and took the swarm.
He’s publishing a book, next May,
On “How to Make Bee-keeping Pay.”
One of the baths supplied by Thomas Crapper

The Well-Known Mr Crapper

We have given a link to Thomas Crapper, who gave their name to an inglorious noun and verb. They are still trading on it, producing hand-made replicas of their firm’s products from the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods. As you would expect, they do loos and W. C. seats, but they can also fit you out with baths, basins, taps and bathroom accessories which they claim are ‘ultra-authentic’ and not the ‘vaguely Victorian’ sanitary ware that is generally available. Lucinda Lambton and Adam Hart-Davis, among others, have written glowing reviews of their period detail and thunderous flush!

Third edition, with cover designed by the award-winning artist Ting-Chung Cheng

Baby Book Published

The new edition of The Kate Greenaway Baby Book has arrived. With a freshly designed cover by the award-winning artist Ting-Chung Cheng, the book combines traditional childhood images with a clean modern style. It has sections for parents to fill in with details of their child’s general progress, as well as important information such as vaccinations and illnesses. All of this is accompanied by beautiful images from one of the first book illustrators to have her work published in colour, and whose ability to capture the innocence of childhood won her lasting popularity. It provides an ideal gift for new and expectant mothers.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close


Warning: DOMDocument::loadHTML(): Opening and ending tag mismatch: a and strong in Entity, line: 1 in /var/www/vhosts/sheldrakepress.co.uk/httpdocs/wp-content/themes/yoo_chester_wp/warp/src/Warp/Helper/DomHelper.php on line 47

Warning: DOMDocument::loadHTML(): Opening and ending tag mismatch: a and strong in Entity, line: 1 in /var/www/vhosts/sheldrakepress.co.uk/httpdocs/wp-content/themes/yoo_chester_wp/warp/src/Warp/Helper/DomHelper.php on line 47